By Lizzie Waldo, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Your thought life matters to your health. Thoughts have the power to make you feel more confident, happy, and motivated, but they can also cause you to spiral downwards into negativity that holds you back.

A quote I like to share with my clients is: “Your body hears everything your mind says.” This is why it's so important to practice positive self-talk.

Those who maintain a healthy lifestyle engage regularly in positive self-talk. If you feel uncomfortable talking out loud to yourself, there are other forms of verbal reinforcement like journaling or reading positive and uplifting messages. Try the following to put more pep in your step.

4 ways to integrate positive thoughts into your daily routine:

  1. Stay in the present. Think about what is going well right now. Use the phrase “I am” to think about something that is being done well rather than “I need to…”, “I ought to…” or “I should…” For example, “I am working on changing my eating habits,” or “I am feeling more energetic after going to the gym.”

  2. Keep it personal. Focus on you and what you are doing better, rather than comparing yourself to others. Comparison can quickly poison your healthy mindset. If this means you need to take a break from social media and start meditating in the mornings, go for it. Your health is worth making some lifestyle changes.
  3. Treat yourself like a friend. Retraining your brain to switch from negative to positive thoughts takes time and practice. Keep examining what you are telling yourself on a daily basis and whether it is helpful or harmful. Many times we are much more harsh with ourselves than with others in our lives. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “Would I say this to a friend?”

  4. Practice, practice, practice. It may be helpful at first for you to come up with a few phrases to repeat to yourself during the day. Positive thoughts lead to positive feedback, which leads to more confidence in your ability to reach your goals. Keep practicing and eventually it will become second nature!

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